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Kimb
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 3/15/2008 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm not sure where to post this but I do fall into the category of chronic pain. I currently take Vicodin HP and have for the past 2 years. My doctor wants me to try Ultram ES but I'm worried about side effects from withdrawls? I currently take 5 1/2  vicodin a day. Also the vicodin works wonders for my IBS and I'm hoping the ultram will work too.
 
thank you so much
Kimb

Ides
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7077
   Posted 3/15/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, evidently your doctor wants to get you off the Vicodin. I take tramadol [generic Ultram] for my neuropathy pain and have been taking it for over 4 years. I have Vicodin for times that my pain is not managed by tramadol alone. Ultram can cause constipation so it might work on your IBS. I would think that you might experience some withdrawal if you suddenly stopped the Vicodin if you have been taking it daily. Others more experienced with potential Vicodin withdrawal will certainly have more information on that than I do.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?
 


Keah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 3/15/2008 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Ultram didn't work very well for my pain and I had a paradoxical reaction to it. Although most people may get drowsy from Ultram, I have the opposite reaction and couldn't sleep.

What Doc wants you to switch meds and did he explain why? Who is currently prescribing them?

GIs seem to be very reluectant to prescribe narcotics for their patients. I've always had my pain meds scripted by my Primary and then my Pain Mgmt Doc.

As Ides mentioned, stopping the Vicodin suddenly could well put you into withdrawl, especially since you've been taking it for so long. I'd recommend that you make an appt to discuss the issue with a trained Pain Mgmt Doc who would be best able to advise you about this and to manage your pain in the future.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
 God helps those who help themselves.
Please help us support this invaluable forum.
Crohn's Forum Moderator


Kimb
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 3/16/2008 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks so much for the feedback. My doctor is not taking my vicodin away. However I can't take both. My primary care doctor prescribes the vicodin to me for my IBS and migranes. My rheumatologist wants me to try the ultram for fibro. I'm reluctant to give up the vicodin because I don't want to give up my life. Its been helping me and I never go beyond the prescribed amount. In fact there are days I can cut it down. I don't like trying new meds if the current ones are working for me. My concern is that if I take the ultram and it doesn't work, what do I do? I would have to wait 24 hrs. The rheumatologist is not pushing me to take the ultram, he gave me samples and said "try it". I'm going away to Mexico in 2 weeks and I'm not going to try it until I get back but honestly, I am reluctant. My primary doctor is great with prescribing me the vicodin because I don't abuse it. What if I take the ultram and then get a migrane? I'm fearful of new meds; ugh

Thanks again

Kimb


Keah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 3/16/2008 11:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Kimb, What other meds have you tried for migraines? There are many new meds out there which are not narcotic and shouldn't pose a problem if taken with ultram. Honestly, I've taken Ultram and Vicodin and not had any problems. Of course, since neither med makes me sleepy, I may be an exception, but I also have several friends who use Ultram for neuropathy and take vicodin in addition when their pain levels are high enough.

The Ultram ES has really worked wonders for my Mom who is of the older generation and worries too much about "addiction". Sometimes she really pisses me off when she gets on her soapbox about it. She is a retired RN and her specialty was Oncology. Maybe she forgot it all when she retired. She certainly has made some poor decisions regarding her own healthcare.

Regardless of what you decide to do about treating the FMS and IBS, you really should look into other treatment options for the migraines. I've suffered fromt hem since I was a kid and I know how horrible they can be. My hubby still gets confused about how a headache can make my puke. After all, puking is a stomach problem, not a headache, right? LOL UUGGHHH

We've always known that my migraines can be triggered by hormonal fluctuations (pre-menstrual) and allergens. For about a year and a half, I took allergy shots hoping to reduce my allergic reactions but instead, my headaches got worse. It turned out that the shots were just overloading my system and I finally had to stop them. During that time period, I had been eating Fioricet like candy with very little improvement. I had to resort to self injecting Imitrex and was up to 2 to 3 shots per week. My Doc had me trying all sorts of meds back then but the only ones that ever really made a difference were Fioricet and Imitrex. Unfortunately, I didn't seem to benefit much from the Imitrex pills and I have real problems with my sinuses which make it impossible for me to use the nasal spray form, so I was stuck with the auto-injector pen. Boy, did that shot BURN!!! I hated taking it, but at least it would relieve the headache.

All of this went on during 1999 and I'm sure that there are now even more meds out there for migraine treatment and most of those would be better than the vicodin. I might occasionally take a T3 or Vic with the Fioricet, but most times, the fioricet alone will do the trick provided that I caught it in time. I'd suggest you take a look at some of the current literature about migraine treatments and maybe even talk to some of the folks on the migraine board here at HW.

Either way, I hope you find whatever will work the best for you.

notnu2cp
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 3/16/2008 11:59 PM (GMT -7)   

I am one of those people who got discouraged with ultram in the begining as I was still working at the time and alot of Docs were prescribing it for elderly patients very leniently and I was caught off guard to the number of side effects associated with this med when they were hyping there was not any. In the elderly especially it was causing some very strange psychotic tendancies and in that age category these were not good things. So I am prejudiced against the drug early on.

I have not found very many people who get much if any relief from it and I know of not one who take it solely for CP without having to have anything else.

It warns you that it can and does cause w/d in narcotic tolerant folks so keep that in mind. Way too many Docs try to persuade us to take this instead of narcotics using very convincing statements to bring us around to thinking it is a strong pain med and I have heard them use this term widely in conjunction with tramadol.

Like Gramps said I think it is no stronger then OTC motrin and alot will find aleve is much better.

I can think of 10 better meds for migraine then this one.

As for the rheumy encouraging you to use it I dont get that either since unlike Ibuprophen and other Nsaids it has no antinflamatory properties to it.

I would certainly try it as long as it they dont want to replace my vicodin with it but would be really hesitant to just flat out make the switch! Alot of times it is nothing more then Docs using the same old song and dance and wanting to get another patient off narcotics and by switching from Vics to ultram they use the no aceteminophin in it to persuade us. There are however other narcotics with less or no tylenol if you require narcotic treatment for your pain to switch to if that is a concern as it usually is hence the GI statement not prescribing.

Good luck and if you are required to give up the Vics I would make sure they arrange a taper that is comfortable before doing so.


2 knee replacements & a hip.
spondylosis at L-4,5 & S1
arthritis,sciatica all that being a CPer entails!
MEDS:methadone,zanax,zanaflex,indocin,maxide,lexapro,K*,inderal,zestril 
If you stumble make it part of the dance!
 
Formerly Ruth Thomas


Kimb
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 3/17/2008 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks everyone.

Keah, vicodin doesn't make me sleepy in fact it does the opposite for me too and it is why I can't take it at night. Before I went on vicodin I lost time from work and didn't travel because nothing worked for the severe IBS I had. When I was given vicodin for shingles I noticed by IBS symptoms were gone. The doctor agreed that it does slow the gut down and was no suprise it helped me. He has been a life saver for me in that respect. The rheum said "you can't take both the ultram and vicodin"; I guess I need to choose the one that I know is a guarantee to help the quality of my life. Its so hard at times becuase I am aware my body is addicted to it. I'm very aware and so very cautious not to exceed the limit prescribed. I'm not ready to give up my life. I will talk to the rheum again. I would not completely stop the vicodin without tapering off but as I said, I don't want to give up my quality of life either.

The jury is still out on my headaches because it seems too start with face pain which I think has to do with fibro. I've posted there as well.

thanks everyone and have a great day.

Kimb


notnu2cp
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 3/18/2008 1:48 AM (GMT -7)   

First Kimb it is NOT an addiction when your taking your meds as prescribed and you are taking them to give yourself a better qulaity of life,big difference there so dont beat yourself over the head for wanting more out life. You yourself said you didnt travel and had trouble working before the meds.

I certainly wouldnt give up something that works for a huge gamble in my book with the ultracet as I dont see enough folks get relief out of it to say switch. If you wouldnt get relief from 2-3 tylenol or a motrin then your not going to get alot more out of the ultracet unless it is an add on and you have already said they dont want you on both. THe other Dc sounds as though he is trying to get you away from narcotics and he may very well be one of those narc=phobic folks we tend to deal with more and more as the drug wars rages on.

There are many new meds in the headache are these days that work mere wonders for some and you may be better advised to see a headache specialist for some of those that can be taken in conjunction with the vico's and then again they may tell you to up your dose a bit when your in the middle of a migraine attack and then back to regular dosing after the fact but these are all things that can be handle by the right Doc and nice and smoothly for you without having to take away something that gave you a touch of life back.

Good luck!


2 knee replacements & a hip.
spondylosis at L-4,5 & S1
arthritis,sciatica all that being a CPer entails!
MEDS:methadone,zanax,zanaflex,indocin,maxide,lexapro,K*,inderal,zestril 
If you stumble make it part of the dance!
 
Formerly Ruth Thomas


Kimb
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 3/18/2008 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   

thank you so much for your words. When I left the rheumy last week I started stressing because I didn't want to start losing time from work; no longer traveling. I was so scared of going back to how my life used to be. The more days that are going by the more I am reminding myself of why I decided to take vicodin to begin with. Mexico is 3 weeks away and I've never traveled that far before due to the IBS and now I can.  I would rather take the vicodin and have a better quality of life. The rheumy doesn't believe in narcotics for fibro. That's okay because I don't ask him for anything. In fact I don't even complain. I've been dealing with pain for so long now that I don't know what its like not to have pain. The vicodin during the day allows me to do my job and helps with pain. I've decided after reading your reply, I want to continue to live the life I'm having. Life is too short. I want to be a part of this journey because all too often we miss a good part of the ride.  Thank you again so much.

Hugs

Kimb


notnu2cp
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 3/19/2008 12:01 AM (GMT -7)   

You are more then welcome!

Too many times we long for the days we dont have to center our lives around meds but far more we exchange that for centering our lives around pain! I would much rather take the darn meds and do thing in life that I want and need for sanity's sake to to do then go back to having every aspect of my life controlled by my pain levels that day.

Can I make it to the store today? Can I go to work and tough it out the entire shift? Get an invite and the family wants to go and you know that you also would love to but if you get up that day and your pain is thru the roof your going to ruin everyone's day,what a load to bare on my already heavy shoulders,to know my pain levels also effect the entire family.

Stay on the meds and lose the guilt trip sweety,take that trip and have a blast for all of us while you can. In this life we dont know when leaving the house may just become impossible so I am going for the gusto now while I can and whatever I have to take to be able to do that? Well I just will.

 


2 knee replacements & a hip.
spondylosis at L-4,5 & S1
arthritis,sciatica all that being a CPer entails!
MEDS:methadone,zanax,zanaflex,indocin,maxide,lexapro,K*,inderal,zestril 
If you stumble make it part of the dance!
 
Formerly Ruth Thomas


Kimb
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 3/19/2008 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   

awww, thank you so very much for such comforting words. Since I've decided to stay with the meds I'm taking my stress has gone down; one less thing to worry about. I will have a blast and enjoy life because it goes by quickly. Guilt? hmmm I think guilt is my middle name! lol  Hope you have a good evening and pain free  :-) .

Kimb


Keah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 3/21/2008 12:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Kim, I'm glad that you've made a decision and that your stress level has decreased. That in itself can help with the pain. I hope your trip is wonderful, just don't make the same "Mexican vacation trip" mistake that I made. Of course I knew I had gut trouble, but I hadn't yet been Dx with Crohn's. I also new that I shouldn't drink the water unless I was in one of those larger, fancy hotels, however, it just never occurred to me that the ice in my drink was water! I spent 2 days in an LA hospital with terrible abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

I can also relate to the issues surrounding trying to determine the cause of a headache. I've had serious sinus problems which we suspect is related to the inflammation from Crohn's. The "simple" surgery to fix my sinuses was a disaster, ended with me in the hospital for a week instead of going home the same day and required 2 additional surgeries to try and fix the problems caused by the initial one. What a nightmare! I also have bad TMJ which is getting worse as my Spondylitis progresses and then there's always the possibility of tension headaches caused by stress. Of course I also have very typical migraines too, so I've got 4 possible causes behind my headaches. Now, the question becomes, how do we treat them all? For me, the answer is Fioricet.

Fioricet used to be one of the most prescribed meds for migraines but now, the literature mostly talks about it being used for tension headaches. I've found over 25+ years that it's really good for any pain above the shoulders. Headaches - regardless of the cause, earaches, dental pain... almost anything can be relieved with this most amazing med. Now, I should probably say that an average day for me consists of at least 40mgs of Oxycontin twice with an occasional 10mg Norco in addition, so I'm not a lightweight where meds are concerned. Yet, none of the narcotics that I've ever been on have really helped much with my headaches. I really NEED to have that Fioricet. So, it might be worth talking about this with your Doc, to see if you can find some additional relief from something other than a narcotic. Besides, even if you only ask about it, at least you'll be showing that you are willing to consider something other than Vicodin for that problem. It would be sorta like saying that if you found a non-narcotic capable of treating the pain, you'd use it. Then you might only need the Vic for the IBS & FMS, but at least you'd not need it for the headaches.

HMMMMM. OK, it's late and now I'll shut up hoping to heaven that I didn't make a mess out of this and that you understand what I mean. ;-)
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
 God helps those who help themselves.
Please help us support this invaluable forum.
Crohn's Forum Moderator


Kimb
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 3/21/2008 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Keah,

lol, no you didn't make a mess out of what you were saying, I did understand, thank you. As for Mexico, I do plan on drinking bottled water but isnt the coffee made with water? I don't like ice because its too cold for me. My gut is so sensitive so I need to be extra careful. I'm packing imodium just as back up..lol  I do have fiorcet in the house but it has tylenol in it and I need to watch the amount of tylenol I take. I have tried it and it didn't work for me. Years ago I had fiorcet with codiene I think and it did help. I am working with the neurologist in finding a treatment for the headaches. He mentioned neurontin (did I spell that right)? He understands my issues with meds and so he is leaving the ball in my court. I want to go on vacation and deal with new meds when I return. I know I need a better treatment plan. I have TMJ. My mouth has gotten stuck open at least 4 times in my life; horrible. I have to yawn almost with my mouth shut, no apples unless they are cut, blah blah. Hard holding my mouth open even at the dentist. Wow, so many of us have similiar symptoms.  Well I guess I better start working cause the papers on piling on my desk..lol

Have a great day and thanks for your reply.

Kim


beckaboo
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 3/23/2008 12:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I just found this forum and I'm kind of new, and didn't read everyones posts, sorry... but I take Ultram and I've taken Ultracet (has tylenol added). I'm allergic to NSAIDS so no motrin or aleve from me. I've taken this for more than a year and love it. I have spondylothesis (25%) two leaking bulging discs, osteoarthritis and a vertabrea that has fused to my pelvis and Fibro. I have been told I will never not feel pain, lucky me :). I have taken IV pain meds, narcotics, etc and ULTRAM is WONDERFUL. I've been on it about 1.5 to 2 years. I can control the dose (on a good week 2 a day on a bad 6...) If the Ultram doesn't kick the pain within the first dose I can take 2 Tylenol, which I do on a rare occasion. It is a very mild painreleiver, but it is an opiod, and works similar to codine. Google Tramadol and check out the Wikipidia (sp) article explains it in Dr terms. And as to strenght, my pharmisist says it is a pretty strong painkiller, and be careful, her words not mine... (2 pills do make me slurr when I speak because they make me drowsy and I just don't wnat to admit it or don't have time to be tired) If I change to a higher dose I don't feel any withdrawl when I go back to the lower which is wonderful. Ultracet however did nothing for me. Go figure. I would recomend it because this is the first I have found something that really works on all levels of pain. But that is just my oppinion.
Becky
 
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? -anon
 
Fibro, Spondylothesis, sacralized vertibrea, osteoarthritis and I'm not even thirty yet...here's hoping my body is done aging. lol


Harmony
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 3/28/2008 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everybody!
I take both Ultram and Vicodin -- is that a problem? I used to take Ultracet and then couldn't take the Vicodin at the same time because of the Tylenol component of each, so switched to Ultram, 2 every 8 hours, and use Vicodin for break-through pain on a daily basis (usually 4 Vicodin a day). I do get some relief with the Ultram, but not enough. I'm gathering from your posts above that this isn't a good combination -- Ultram and Vicodin? Could someone please explain this. I'm worried now? Thanks in advance.
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